Orenella, “Jesus Saves’ and ‘Clothed in Christ’: athletic religious apparel in the Christian CrossFit community”

Ornella, A. D. (2019). “Jesus Saves” and “Clothed in Christ”: athletic religious apparel in the Christian CrossFit community. Sport in Society, 22(2), 266-280.

Abstract: The popular sport of CrossFit has attracted a number of Christians who simultaneously celebrate their passion for their faith and their passion for their sport. In this interplay of sport and religion, fashion becomes an important means for the profession of faith. This essay focuses specifically on religious athletic T-shirts that appear regularly among Christians in CrossFit. I argue that these are not a mere profession of faith but serve a dual purpose: on the one hand being athletic (and one could argue secular) and on the other being religious symbols with a deeper theological meaning. As such, they are sites where business opportunities, religious and sacramental practices, advertisement and consumption practices collide. I argue that religious CrossFit T-shirts need to be taken seriously as a religious-sacramental practice, but also that religious athletic clothing makes faith fit for consumption.

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